The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.
- 1 John 2:17
A colleague told me over a cup of coffee that all human behavior is motivated by either fear or love. Maybe. I agree that behavior tends to be purposeful, even negative behavior. But, I need more time to decide if I completely agree with my friend. There might be other factors in play.
This weekend I was in Washington, D.C. to spend time with men from my old Army unit. We were in D.C. to celebrate the anniversary of the Battle of the 73 Easting. We gathered in the morning at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery to lay a wreath in honor of a friend who did not make it back from Iraq. His mother and father were with us. They quietly set the wreath on the tomb, which added solemn weight to the ceremony.
It was exciting and emotional to see people I never thought I would see again. We were slapping each other’s backs, hugging, and trying not to talk too loud before the ceremony began.
As the day unfolded I reacquainted myself with old comrades. Some with lives motivated by fear in the guise of ambition. Some with lives motivated by love, evidenced by their desire to attend to the needs of others. All of us motivated by the wish to be reconnected with our past, which is fueled, I think, by the mixture of both fear and love.
Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve ... me and my household, we will serve the LORD.
- Joshua 24:15
Even if love is winning, fear still has a small foothold on my life. Scripture teaches us that we cannot faithfully serve two masters, so I constantly redirect myself toward love. In the words of Thomas Cahill, we have a choice: we can be burned up by the fire of fear, or be refined by the fire of God’s love. I choose love.
... Father, thank You for being a God of love, thank You for being the very definition of love. Father guide us away from our worldly fears, strengthen us and give us courage to grow closer to you. In Jesus name. ...